Piston Slap: The Fiesta's Rocky Road Ahead?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap the fiesta s rocky road ahead

Clark writes:

Hello Sajeev,

I currently drive a 2007 G35S that works great and has been dead nuts reliable since I bought it lightly used a couple of years ago. It also works just fine for my duties of pickup/drop off of my toddler at daycare. Despite being plenty quick, it’s kind of dull. I really miss having a daily driver that doubles as an autocross/occasional track-day car.

A few weeks back I attended a ford ecoboost event and got to hustle a Fiesta ST around an autocross course. I was pretty impressed and now I’m strongly considering switching over. I also like that it gets ~50% better fuel economy and the 17″ wheels mean cheaper replacement tires than the staggered 18″ setup on the G35 (plus, I think I may be harder on tires than most). Lower running costs wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit.

My wife is less impressed. She thinks the interior feels cheap (compared to the Infiniti it is) and is too small. It is a real tight fit to get a rear-facing child seat in the back. The G35S is the first car I’ve ever owned with 4 doors and a usable back seat; all of my previous cars have been sports cars. Compared to my Miatas or Corvettes and the like, the G35 feels huge, and the smaller Fiesta still seems like a wonderland of practicality. I don’t need luxury, just something sufficiently practical for hauling my child (or perhaps children) and fun to drive.

Is there anything I may not be considering that would make me regret trading down?

Sajeev answers:

What’s that phrase about walking a mile in someone’s shoes? Oh my damn, son.

You say you “don’t need luxury” but do you “want” it? I coulda/shoulda spent 10+ years restomodding a Fox Body Mustang, but I chose my Fox Cougar instead. Why? I like the extra bits and am okay with the extra 400 lbs or so of ballast.

But you aren’t me (lucky you) so I seriously doubt you’ll regret the downgrade, unless your wife’s/child’s needs grow to the point that a Fiesta is impractical. As the kid grows up and you take their friends to school/movies/dates, you might regret selling the Infiniti. And perhaps your career/social life demands a more prestigious vehicle for the valet lot? Or your wife’s career/social life?

Then again, you’ll probably want another car by the time your child is ready for the Prom…so perhaps throwing up roadblocks is unnecessary. I won’t answer this question, rather I’ll ask everyone to consider the total lifetime expenses of this purchase.

  • Fuel, wear and tear items (Fiesta’s advantage)
  • Depreciation expenses (Fiesta will depreciate more percentage-wise than the Infiniti)
  • Insurance price differential

Is it worth owning a Fiesta ST for a while when you might wind up selling it 1-3 years from now? Tough call, glad I don’t have to make that decision for you!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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3 of 94 comments
  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Jan 09, 2014

    A 2007 G35S is kind of dull? I think I know the problem. If you take the center console apart you'll find a Bosch unit containing accelerometers. Splice a switch into the power to that unit and install the switch inside the console bin. Leave it turned off unless your wife is driving it or something. Seriously though, my buddy has that exact car and I find nothing dull about driving it, being a passenger in it, or even just watching him drive the thing sideways through our local track. It's plenty communicative but it is fairly big and a bit soft, so I can see how someone might find the Fiesta ST to be more fun, from what I've heard about that car. I'm just picking on what was to me an unexpected choice of words for a car that's driven by the most fish-taily of all my friends! Edit: I just did a quick search and it seems that the G35S was actually available with an automatic? Was that part of the problem?

  • Jimbob457 Jimbob457 on Jan 13, 2014

    According to the sage advice of my grandfather, there is (at least) one of two things every boy should do in his time: date a stripper and/or buy a Jag convertible. At your stage of life these choices are: get a girlfriend on the side and/or buy a motorcycle. Neither of these involves buying a Ford.

  • The Oracle I say let the clunkers stay on the roads.
  • Jpolicke Twenty-three grand for a basket case? And it has '66 wheel covers and gas cap so who knows what else isn't original?
  • Scott Can't be a real 1965 Stang as all of those are nothing but a pile of rust that MIGHT be car shaped by now.
  • 56m65711446 So, the engineers/designers that brought us the Pinto are still working at Ford!
  • Spookiness I dig it. The colors are already available on the CX-50. The terracotta is like a nice saddle brown. The non-turbo Carbon Edition has a bluish gray and a burgundy leather interior. A nice break from the typical relentless black and 50 shade of gray palette. Early CX-30's had some dark navy blue (armest, console, and parts of the door) but I guess that was just too weird and radical so they switched to all-black.I'd be fine with cloth in colors, leather is over-rated, but I'll never have an all-black interior in a car ever again.